UPDATE: Rutherford County Prepares for the Arrival of Two New Charter Schools in 2024

Jan 04, 2024 at 11:55 am by WGNS News

L to R: Springs Empower Academy and Rutherford Collegiate Prep

UPDATE - RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - In the forthcoming school year, Rutherford County is gearing up for the introduction of two charter schools set to open their doors. The process for these institutions to come to fruition involves seeking approval from the Rutherford County School Board, a crucial step that has already been taken... That was Choice School Coordinator Jeff McCann. Once open, the overall performance and student progress of the future charter schools will be in a sense, graded by McCann.

Scheduled to open later this year, Springs Empower Academy in Smyrna and American Classical Academy Rutherford (ACAR) in Murfreesboro are the two new additions to the county's educational landscape. The approval granted by the school board not only marks the establishment of these schools but also entails an added layer of responsibility to ensure a quality education for all students in the community.


An agreement, solidified between the charter schools and the county school board, sets rigorous standards for educational excellence. McCann, in his role, plays a pivotal part in overseeing these standards... He explained that the county, now overseeing 50 traditional schools, 1 virtual school, and soon 2 charter schools, is deeply committed to the success of every student.

The introduction of charter schools brings a new dynamic to the educational landscape, offering increased flexibility and autonomy in curriculum decisions. This flexibility, however, does not come without a trade-off. Charter schools must adhere to the accountability standards outlined in their charters, and the Choice School Coordinator is tasked with periodically reviewing their performance... What amounts to progress reports will be presented to the Rutherford County School Board when requested.

Notably, the new territory of charter schools equal an exemption from certain state or local rules and regulations. This exemption, however, does not absolve charter schools from meeting the stipulated accountability standards. The county schools emphasize that a charter school's charter can be revoked if guidelines on curriculum and management are not followed, or if the accountability standards are not met.

The overarching goal of introducing charter schools in the county is to provide innovative, high-quality, and diverse school choice options that align with the needs of the district. With a student population exceeding 50,000, Rutherford County Schools now stand as the fourth-largest district in the state, highlighting the growing commitment to offering varied and effective educational opportunities to its diverse student body.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Students in Rutherford County return to the classroom this coming Monday (01/08/2024). South of Murfreesboro in Shelbyville, the Bedford County Schools re-open to students on Monday as well. North of Rutherford County in Lebanon, kids hit the books today (on Thursday - 01/04/2024). Nearby Cannon County Schools opened on Wednesday (01/03/2024).

Information on the initial approval for the new charter schools can be found HERE.


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